COQUILLE – Director of the Coos County Community Corrections Mike Crim presented its 2017-2018 annual report Tuesday morning to commissioners highlighting its past year’s ups and downs.
The 23-page report breaks down the years past cases, their results within the correctional system and its programs. The Coos County Community Corrections supervises approximately 600 criminal offenders throughout the county.
The department follows national best practices and concepts to assist in the rehabilitation of parolees and probationers to reduce and eliminate any further criminal behavior. While the report shows overall the department is meeting or exceeding most of its goals, it did not however meet three of its vital repeat offender objectives.
According to the report, 16.9 percent of probationers received a new felony conviction within one year from admission to probation, which is higher than the statewide average of 15.2 percent. It also showed within three years, 32.2 percent of probationers received a new conviction after their probation release, which the statewide average is 28.5 percent.
For parolees, 15.8 percent received a new felony conviction within a year slightly higher than the statewide average of 15.7 percent. However, the department did exceed its goal in maintaining a lower average of parolees receiving a new conviction within three years of their release at 30.2 percent compared to the statewide average of 35 percent.
Over the past year, the main type of cases brought before the department consisted primarily of drug offenses with 376 cases followed by 265 cases of burglary/theft offenses and 122 cases involving sex crimes.
Crim pointed out to commissioners of the department has met or exceeded all of its goals when it comes to its supervision program of sex offenders. In Coos County, the department oversaw 110 sex offenders last year who were required to complete a treatment program and undergo evaluations to determine their risk level within their communities.
If applicable, offenders were also required to follow certain notification protocols in to their residential area as well as law enforcement. In the report, 85 percent of sex offenders who completed supervision will not be convicted of a new felony sex crime while under continued supervision.
The report also revealed it is meeting its transitional housing goals through its partnerships with facilities like the T.H.E House and Bay Area First Step. It shows the facilities are available on a short-term basis for offenders with no living resources to help them as they find employment and permanent housing.
For the county, drug abuse continues to be a challenge. The department conducts weekly urine analysis testing, which screens for seven different types of drugs. The report shows each month 41 percent of all offenders screen negatively for illicit drug use.
Crim told commissioners that methamphetamines and marijuana yielded the highest results and appeared to be most offenders’ drugs of choice. The department set an unofficial goal of collecting 175 urine tests per month, which in addition to its weekly collection also included random on-the-spot tests made during regularly planned check-in appointments or home contacts.
An average of 80 urine tests were performed a month which resulted in the 41 percent negative return. The report cites the lack of jail space as a main contributor for it collecting fewer tests.
The department operates on grant funding from the Oregon Department of Corrections to provide its services and programs to deter offenders from repeating criminal behavior.
Crim concluded his presentation Tuesday reminding commissioners of the department’s role within the justice system as serving both rehabilitation and public safety purposes. The Coos County Community Corrections department consists of about 10 parole and probation officers, a mental health counselor, a case manager as well as other office personnel who combined have 217 years of experience.